'We're not really prepared to put up with that' - Auckland colleges boycott St Kents 1st XV over allegations of player poaching

A coalition of Auckland schools have boycotted playing St Kentigern College in 2019. Source: 1 NEWS

An ugly war has broken out between top Auckland rugby schools over allegations of player poaching.

A coalition of Auckland schools have boycotted matches with St Kentigern College in 2019, with Auckland and New Zealand Rugby having to step in and try help find a resolution.

St Kents College has a long standing production line of top rugby talent, but their rivals say more often than not the talent is developed elsewhere and poached.

After missing out on the national title this year, they have recruited five players from elsewhere to bolster their ranks. 

Mount Albert Grammar principal Patrick Drumm said he is fed up with the unethical practice by St Kents and things needs change.

"You're actually ripping that out of a school as they head to, in this case St Kents, for one or two years to bolster a rugby programme and the group of principals said we're not really prepared to put up with that," said Drumm.

"The five coming in from outside Auckland we think is a bit outrageous."

What St Kents is doing is not against the rules and Mount Albert Grammar is just one out of the 11 Auckland schools who refuse to play St Kentigern next year unless they change their recruitment policies.

The 11 schools want St Kents imports to stand down for six games and to take no part in any finals matches.

Rotorua Boys' High School principal Chris Grinter said one of their promising stars had been poached by St Kents after they saw him at a Chiefs development camp.

"Outstanding young man of ours who towards the end of this current season broke into our first XV, has been recruited by St Kentigern College for 2019 and we're really unhappy about it," said Grinter.

"And I've expressed my concerns directly to the Chiefs CEO in this regard."

St Kents wouldn’t comment, saying they will prefer to sit down with their accusers face-to-face. College Sport told 1 NEWS they've stepped in to facilitate.